Homeless Dogs: An International Problem

In Cesar Millan’s show Leader of the Pack, Cesar works to find homeless dogs with behavioral problems the best family to help individual dogs. Adoption is a wonderful way to give homeless dogs a second chance and a great way for individuals to help solve an international problem at a local level. The problem of stray dogs around the world, however, is a massive one and many people do not realize the breadth of this issue. Cesar also works to educate people about the severity of this issue.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals states that there an estimated 75% of dogs in the world are strays. While homeless dogs are a problem in the United States, in some countries they are an epidemic. The obvious problem with this is the welfare of these canines which have difficult lives as they struggle to feed themselves and avoid abuse. It is a terrible life. There are other issues as well. The World Health Organization is very concerned about rabies, which without treatment is a deadly zoonotic disease (a disease the people can get from animals). Dog rabies potentially threatens over 3 billion people in Asia and Africa. People most at risk live in rural areas where human vaccines and immunoglobulin are not readily available or accessible. Besides rabies, there are also often issues with aggressive feral dog packs attacking people and even livestock. Overall, it is a problem that needs to be addressed, and addressed humanely in many countries.

In an article this month in the Huffington Post, Cesar Millan discusses the problem of satos, stray dogs in Puerto Rico as an example of this worldwide problem. There are an estimated 100,000 stray dogs roaming Puerto Rico. Cesar notes that, “The fact that Playa Lucia is now called Dead Dog Beach tells you a lot about what things are like for the satos in Puerto Rico.” These dogs starve, are hit by cars, are tortured and are even shot by people who go to the beach for target practice. The kill rate in shelters there is as high as 97 percent. How do you solve a problem this big? As Cesar points out, you start with a spay and neuter program.

According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) a humane and comprehensive approach is critical to solving the problem of homeless dogs worldwide. WSPA suggestions line up with Cesar Milan’s beliefs that sustainable population management strategies should include:

  • Promoting responsible pet ownership.
  • Legislative measures against cruelty to animals.
  • Identification and registration of dogs.
  • Neutering of stray and owned animals.
  • Vaccination against rabies and other disease.

While we work to find ways to ease and hopefully solve the international problem of homeless dogs, adoption is a wonderful way to help locally. In this week’s episode of Leader of the Pack, Cesar meets Mambo, a Jack Russell mix with a Napoleon complex. He had so much energy his former owners couldn’t control him and now resides in a shelter. Finding the right family to manage these issues will give Mambo a second chance and the wonderful life that all dogs deserve. Watch this week’s episode of Leader of the Pack: Mambo Madness this Tuesday February 28 at 8 PM et/pt to meet Mambo. Maybe your home is the perfect place for a dog that needs a home!


  1. Skip
    February 23, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Bring them to Vermont where we have more dogs than children.

  2. calmassertive
    February 26, 2013, 6:33 am

    Unfortunately the new show pales in comparison to the Dog Whisperer show, so much so that even the most avid viewers of the latter find it difficult to watch the former. All the staged scenes with their game-show-host scripts and people lined up in a row and prize baskets and details of the families’ life and close-ups of disappointed ‘loser’ families and dramatic ‘and the winner is …’ commercial breaks are just, well, lame. There was a show called Who Gets The Dog back in 2005 with a similar format, with Tarmar Geller choosing between 3 families, and it got cancelled after 1 season. This scripted staged game-show format pales in comparison to the true reality format of the Dog Whisperer. Nat Geo would do well to resolve the differences between Cesar and his former producers so that this new show doesn’t further trample on the good work done by its predecessor.

  3. cookieJones
    March 2, 2013, 7:22 pm

    I agree Dog Whisperer is a MUCH better show. To be fair, tho, the new show has a different mission which focuses on giving hope to abandoned dogs.

    But, yeah that contest format is awful. Plus I’d rather see Cesar go to the shelters and choose the dogs himself. It would be much more educational.

  4. calmassertive
    March 10, 2013, 6:58 pm

    Cesar gives interviews wherein he speaks of this new show’s supposed new ‘mission’ of rescuing and rehoming,
    but the show itself really isn’t about that at all. His interviews proclaim that 600 million dogs are euthanized each year, which is nonsense. The show spends big money bringing 3 families thousands of miles to spend a week in Spain talking English, money that per the show’s purported ‘mission’ could have been spent actually saving many many more dogs than just the one on the show. In place of the uplifting themes of Dog Whisperer we instead are made to watch closeups of disappointed faces from the 2 families who were all set to adopt a dog but were instead told they were unsuitable. The effect of this is to actually Discourage animal adoption by those who are the Most motivated, the exact Opposite of Cesar’s stated new mission. Watching Cesar act out a scripted “it will be a tough decision” conversation with the dog actually Humanizes the dog, in direct opposition to one of his main teachings. The product placement of a Petco goodie basket is a copy of Victoria Stilwell’s last season on her miserable Me-Or-The-Dog show where she made the people eat KitKat chocolate bars during the show, thus preventing the show from ever going into syndication. Cesar gave an interview where he lamented getting into the business of actually trying to sell a Cesar-branded water for dogs, and this Petco nonsense wreaks of the same misguided commercialism. The Dog Whisper show was so well done and this new show is so poorly done that it’s certain that had the latter come first the former would never have made it to air. One can only hope Cesar ‘snaps out of it’ and leaves these producers behind, stops following tedious repetitive unoriginal scriptwriters and returns to his own inspirational extemporaneous way of training people. In that manner a much greater number of dogs will be rescued, rehomed and rehabilitated. NatGeoWild’s moving of this show to Tuesday night, from its original Saturday night slot, I would guess is due to the poor ratings it is receiving. The fans are voting with their remotes, so to speak, but hopefully NatGeo will only throw out the bathwater and find a way to keep the baby.